The ants file into your kitchen. Theirs is not hunger, duty, or curiosity. They don’t fear you the way the mouse does.
The dishes are stacked up because you don’t leave home anymore. The mess comes in with such ease now that there’s nowhere else to go. When was the last time you spent time in a kitchen other than your own? Do you remember how nice it is to enter a clean space? You think you’ve kept up with your chores but look around.
The ants will love it here.
You went away for the day because the stress of the situation reached that point at the same time your friend invited you on an excursion. You probably shouldn’t go, but you’re all pretty sure he already had the disease so it’ll probably be fine.
They’re here when you get back, the ants. And just like that you remember how to clean. In less than an hour, the room is cleaner than you’ve seen it in months. The ants and crumbs are vacuumed up together, the crack in the wall where you think they were entering is sealed.
The memory of that other place is fresh in your mind as you recognize your home for the first time in months. Keep it this way you damn fool.